Following are capsulized looks at the season-opening high school football games involving York-Adams League teams.
BERMUDIAN SPRINGS AT NEW OXFORD, 7 P.M. Bermudian Springs trampled opponents last season, rushing for 325 yards a game. The Eagles aren't about to abandon the running game, but they can fly, too, on the arm of quarterback Michael Moore, who passed for 1,011 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. New Oxford, meanwhile, begins a new era under first-year head coach Jason Thurston. The Colonials are aiming to rebound from last year's 2-8 season.
JAMES BUCHANAN AT BIGLERVILLE, 7 P.M. Biglerville, with eight starters back on defense and seven on offense, is seeking to break into the upper echelon of York-Adams Division III this season. Oakley Fissel returns after rushing for 1,148 yards last year, and Joe Hurda and Jordan Wenk are also tested at running back. Fissel was a first-team all-star at running back and cornerback, and two other members of the Class of 2013, Tyler Lieberum and Trevor Stover, earned first-team all-star nods at safety and defensive end, respectively. James Buchanan, 1-9 a year ago, will attempt to turn things around under new head coach Andy Stoner.
DOVER AT HANOVER, 7 P.M. Dover fans won't forget 2011. The Eagles won nine games and captured their first-ever varsity football title, sharing the York-Adams Division II crown with West York and Northeastern. That team, featuring 20 seniors and six first-team all-stars, will be an extremely tough act to follow. One returning player, Jake Sterner, is a three-year starter at center. Mike Ketterman, a former head coach at Dallastown and York Tech, took over the Hanover program this year. The Nighthawks, coming off a 1-9 season, are young and have very little depth (22 players on the varsity).
DELONE CATHOLIC AT TRINITY, 7 P.M. When these teams met in the District 3 Class AA playoffs last year, Trinity won a 49-27 shootout. The Shamrocks bank on the running of Adam Geiger (1,112 yards) and the pass catching of Danny Jackson and Ryan Herr. Delone Catholic quarterback Brett Smith is coming off a monster year during which he passed for 1,347 yards and 21 touchdowns while being intercepted just six times. Look for Lance Reneker and Nick Braun to get plenty of carries for the Squires.
YORK SUBURBAN AT SUSQUEHANNOCK, 7 P.M. Susquehannock's defense will need a stout effort to contain a York Suburban team that is loaded with speed. The Trojans' Jaime Nixon-Alark, who has a 4.44-second performance in the 40-yard dash to his credit, averaged a first down per carry last season and 19.5 yards on 16 pass receptions. The Warriors will call on 20 returning letter winners as they rebuild following an 0-10 season. The game will be a reunion for Susquehannock coach Bill Kerr and York Suburban coach Brian Freed. Freed was a Trojans' assistant when Kerr was the team's head coach.
DALLASTOWN AT LAN CASTER CATHOLIC, 7 P.M. Dallastown is up for a challenge, opening the season against last year's state Class AA champion. Lancaster Catholic lost some very good players from the title team, but Roman Clay is back. Clay, who's receiving NCAA Division I college interest, ran for 1,899 yards and 31 touchdowns last year for the Crusaders, who are moving from Class AA to AAA this season. Dallastown is banking on the return of quarterback Andrew Henry and a number of other veteran players to help spark a turnaround following a 4-7 mark last year.
RED LION AT CUMBER LAND VALLEY, 7 P.M. Red Lion should also have its hands full with the perennial power from the Mid-Penn Conference. The Lions' Jason Milton has the speed to turn any touch into a touchdown. Mitch Baublitz, Dan Althoff and Seth Haight complement Milton with their pass-catching abilities (a combined 55 receptions last year). Cumberland Valley will combine the power running of 6-3, 240-pound fullback Jeremy Salmon with the passing of Ben Fernback. Fernback will also tuck the ball under his arm and use his quickness to pick up rushing yards.
EASTERN YORK AT COLUMBIA, 7 P.M. Eastern is planning to get back on the winning side in the Susquehanna River rivalry after dropping the last two games to the Crimson Tide. Golden Knights' star running back Alex Cooley enters his senior season with 3,170 rushing yards. Linebacker Bryan Flory, running back Andrew Combs and wide receiver Nick Nobile are key players for Columbia. Flory made the all-state team in 2011.
BOILING SPRINGS AT LITTLESTOWN, 7 P.M. Boiling Springs shut out Littlestown, 28-0, when the teams clashed in the last year's opener. The Bubblers, though, have a new coach (Nate Frier) and just five returning starters from the 2011 club. Littlestown's veterans include quarterback Dustin Crouse (2,138 passing yards and 16 touchdowns) and running back Ryan Rickell (118 carries for 628 yards). If the Thunderbolts can tighten up their defense (23.3 points-per-game last year), they can better last year's 7-4 mark.
KENNARD-DALE AT OXFORD, 7 P.M. The presence of seven returning starters should help Kennard-Dale's triple option run smoothly this season. Dan Hare returns at running back for the Rams. The 5-11, 192-pound senior rushed for 662 yards in 2011. Both Kennard-Dale and Oxford, which started only four seniors last season, are expecting better outcomes in 2012. Kennard-Dale closed at 2-8 a year ago, and Oxford finished at 4-6.
GETTYSBURG AT SOUTH WESTERN, 7 P.M. Both the Warriors and the Mustangs begin the season with new head coaches. Damian Poalucci takes over for Don Seidenstricker at South Western, and Matt Heiser succeeds Ray Gouker at Gettysburg. The Warriors have a core of game-tested offensive linemen as they attempt to get back on the winning track (2-8 last season). The guys up front for the Mustangs will block for Dillon Thomas, who rushed for 1,049 yards as a sophomore in 2011.
YORK HIGH AT COA TESVILLE, 7 P.M. After compiling an impressive 37-18 record in five seasons as York High's head football coach, Matt Ortega, took the head coaching job at Coatesville in 2009. The Red Raiders are 22-11 so far under Ortega, who will welcome his old team and one of his former assistants, Shawn Heinold, to Coatesville. Heinold is York High's head coach. Ortega's team features a talented running back, Daquan Worley, listed by Philly.com as one of the top 40 running backs in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Red Raiders also have three other players -- Tyler Burke (TE-LB), Chris Jones (WR-DB) and Dylan Morgan (OL-DL) -- on the list of leading players in the region. York High's standouts are: quarterback Tavon Parker (1,159 passing yards, seven touchdowns), wide receiver Derek Wilson (32 receptions for 562 yards) and running back Kelvin Nieves (5.2 yards-per-carry average).
YORK CATHOLIC AT NORTHEASTERN, 7 P.M. York Catholic, with 20 returning letter winners, has high hopes this season. Northeastern is coming off a season in which it earned a piece of the York-Adams Division II title. The Fighting Irish combine the passing of James Dougherty (2,094 yards) with the running of Matt Lehr (1,132 rushing yards). Dougherty was a first-team Division III all-star a year ago, and Lehr was a second-team selection. The 2011 Bobcats produced 10 Division II all-stars (first team and second team), eight of whom were seniors. One of the juniors, Zach Moyer, caught 22 passes for 423 yards (19.2 average).
YORK TECH AT PEQUEA VALLEY, 7 P.M. York Tech can count on the running of Calvin Savary, who racked up 755 yards as a sophomore last year. Pequea Valley has a lot of new players, but the Braves did hand the Spartans a 35-12 setback last season.
SPRING GROVE AT SUSQUEHANNA TOWN SHIP, 7 P.M. Spring Grove's inexperienced team took its lumps last year, winning just one time in 10 tries, and very few of the games were close. Russ Stoner's club expects to be much more competitive this year, although this week's game will be very challenging for the Rockets. Susquehanna Township has experience (six starters back on offense and seven on defense) and talent. Colby Grant averaged a whopping nine yards a carry at running back last season, and quarterback Jordan Baskerville can run and pass.
FAIRFIELD AT CLEAR SPRING, MD., 7 P.M. Fairfield will begin the season trying to break a 29-game losing streak. The Green Knights' last victory came in the final game of the 2008 season, 19-6 over York Tech. Darwin Seiler, the ex-head coach at Waynesboro, is Fairfield's new head coach. Clear Spring defeated the Green Knights' 41-12, in last year's season opener.
-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdis patch.com.